STATEMENT CONCERNING THE DELETION OF AN AVİM COMMENTARY CRITIQUING A SWJ ARTICLE
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20.07.2022


On 15 June 2022, AVİM had published a commentary on an article by Michael Panfil Jr. titled “Remembering The Late Ottoman Genocides”. The said article was published on 20 May 2022 by the Small Wars Journal (SWJ), a journal focusing on war studies. In his article, Mr. Panfil, a young scholar specializing in war studies at Loyola University Chicago, offered an overview of late Ottoman period from the late 19th century to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 through the prism of the genocide narrative directed at the Ottoman government. Our commentary offered a critique of this article by pointing out to some factual errors and inaccurate reading of the context and developments of the late Ottoman period.

Mr. Panfil subsequently contacted us, stating that he took careful note of our criticisms and expressed his desire to have his SWJ article retracted. Upon the initiative by Mr. Panfil, SWJ agreed to the retraction of the article. In the spirit of reciprocity, AVİM has deleted its commentary concerning Mr. Panfil’s article.

We believe that Mr. Panfil has been the victim of a plethora of highly politicized and biased academic publications that seek to distort Ottoman history with the aim of proving that the Ottoman government perpetrated genocide against its Christian subjects. These faulty publications, sometimes carrying the names of highly prestigious Western printing houses, unfortunately mislead scholars into arriving at the wrong conclusions. In this sense, Mr. Panfil’s experience is not an isolated incident, but part of a worrying trend in Western academia concerning the study of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey.

As such, the following questions deserve proper investigation and answers: How are such faulty publications being published by prestigious printing houses? What has happened to the careful review process, meant to prevent faulty publications, that should normally be in place in such printing houses? And who is enabling the corruption of this review process?